>Does anyone have any recommendations for software for type composition and
>page imposition . . . other than Page-Maker and Quark? Anything simpler?
Hi Donn, you don't say whether you're using a PC or Mac. But assuming you
use a PC, there are three recommendations I can make. I've been keeping a
close eye on DTP software, and the computer press's reviews.
If you mainly want something simple, go for Serif Pageplus 5. It's is
lauded as being simple, with hundreds of hand-holding wizards to get
awkward tasks done. It's also cheap, and has a good amount of power and
flexibility - but can't compete on this score with Pagemaker or Quark. In
fact, if you want professional print from it, then Pageplus won't really
do. It can handle colour, but I don't think it can do full 4-colour
separations, and besides, pre-press bureaux won't be able to handle its
files since they only handle the professional packages. But if you just
want to print from your own desktop printer, then this isn't an issue.
If you want something really superb, with the very top typographical
abilities, then there's only one choice - the brand new Adobe InDesign.
It's Adobe's effort to topple Quark from the number one slot, and most
commentators reckon it will succeed. It can handle typography with almost
as much sophistication as traditional typographers working in hot lead (a
big leap forward), and has many whizzy features that are quite a step
forward for DTP. InDesign should be very slick and easy to use, though
it's not a hand-holding programme, and shares most of the Adobe interface
used in its other top programmes. It's on special offer until the end of
the year, at half price, bringing it to a very affordable level - about
twice as much as Pageplus. This programme is available for the Mac too.
The other option is Corel Ventura. This is far better than it used to be,
and is a very top programme. I've not used it, but it isn't especially
simple. However, it's real advantages are in creating long structured
documents, especially books, because it has unbeaten power at detailed,
consistent formatting, and good typographical flexibility. It's not cheap,
but cheaper than Pagemaker.
Hope this helps
Tim Sheppard tim@...
Lilliput Press - Publisher of fine books in miniature
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